50 Years – Celebrating the Past
Kimberley Hoidal, Director of Development
Since 1967, Pima Council on Aging has identified the needs of older adults in Pima County and responded to those needs with innovative programs and services. As the designated Area Agency on Aging, PCOA has served older adults and their families in communities across Pima County through planning, advocacy, and providing and contracting for services.In the earliest days of our 50-year history, Pima Council on Aging helped establish the City of Tucson Special Needs Transportation Services division. In the 1970’s, we developed one of the first case management systems in the country to coordinate home supportive services for older adults – a model that has since been duplicated across the country, providing in-home services as alternatives to institutionalization. We began offering legal services and home repair programs for older adults, and initiated Pima County Ombudsman Program – all of which are still in operation today.
In the 1980’s, PCOA assisted the Junior League in the development of what is now St. Luke’s Home. We helped to create the Tucson Interfaith Coalition on Aging. And we worked alongside community partners at Tucson Medical Center to develop the Annual Salute to Tucson Centenarians, celebrating the lives and longevity of our community’s oldest citizens. In 2017, we will hold our 30th event honoring Tucsonans over the age of 99.
As the needs of older adults in our society and community changed into the 1990’s, we developed a Medicare counseling program to assist in navigating the complex world of Medicare. We worked with local fire districts and public health nurses to develop a home safety and fall prevention assessment and education program.
In the new century, we expanded our programming to support family caregivers and created the Neighbors Care Program, enabling volunteers to assist their neighbors. We developed programs to support older workers and partnered to launch the ongoing Behavioral Health and Older Adults Conference. We deepened our commitment to healthy aging by bringing an array of fitness, fall-prevention and chronic disease self-management programs to southern Arizona. PimaCare at Home, Pima County’s oldest and only unionized non-medical home care agency, became part of the Pima Council on Aging family of programs in 2012. In 2015, we introduced the Aging Mastery Program®, a model developed by the National Council on Aging to develop new expectations, norms, and pathways for people aged 50 to 100, to make the most of their gift of longevity.
We are proud of our 50 years of innovation, partnership, and responsiveness to the needs of southern Arizona’s older adults, and honor the work of the thousands of dedicated people who built the strong, flexible organization Pima Council on Aging is today.